Archive for the ‘bat-s**t-crazy’ Category


I was going through my RSS feed and found this gem by WND’s Joe Kovacs: “Inquisition: College Girl Gets 3rd Degree for Being Jew.”

The story is that, allegedly, “the student government at UCLA interrogated a young student about the fact she is Jewish, and nearly scrapped her acceptance to its group because of her religious heritage.”

In other words, they weren’t going to let a person do something because they weren’t the correct religion.

Except, that’s exactly what WND wants for every religion except Christianity, and perhaps Judaism. Muslim? Hindu? Wiccan? Atheist? WND writers would ardently advocate for you not to be able to hold any public office or, in some cases, even vote. This is in part rooted in – or at least “supported by” – a constant stream of articles that America is a “Christian Nation.”

Hypocrites much?

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As I said in my post two days ago, Monday would be interesting in Alabama with all the legal stuff (and, I would argue, illegal stuff) going on. I think the headlines are what really tell much of the story.

From World Net Daily, we have these, all written by Anti-Homo-in-Chief Bob Unruh (all comment counts are preliminary since these are less than 24 hours old):

*This story has gone through at least four different headlines. The first was, “Drastic Measure Taken on ‘Gay’ Marriage.” The second, I didn’t copy down. The third was “Supremes Won’t Stop ‘Gay’ Marriage,” and the last one I saw was “Alabama Begins Marrying ‘Gay’ Couples.”

And, I have lots of headlines from other news outlets, including many from blogger Joe Jervis at “Joe.My.God” or “JMG” for short. These are in temporal order, starting late Sunday night, and by reading the headlines, you’ll be able to tell a lot of what happened.

That is a lot of news coverage. To try to summarize for y’all who don’t want to even skim that list, there was a basic sequence of events:

  1. Judge Roy Moore on Sunday night sent a letter to all probate court judges telling them NOT to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He stated in the letter that the Governor could take action against them if they did, though the Governor’s office said they had no idea what Moore was talking about. Because, you know, The Bible. And Icky Stuff.

    “The U.S. district courts have no power or authority to redefine marriage. Once you start redefining marriage, that’s the ultimate power. Would it overturn the laws of incest? Bigamy? Polygamy? How far do they go? A lot of states in this union have caved to such unlawful authority, and this is not one This is Alabama. We don’t give up the recognition that law has bounds. I disagree with standing in the schoolhouse door to prevent blacks from getting equal education. We’re talking about a constitutional amendment to preserve the recognition that marriage is one man and one woman, as it has been for centuries.” – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, speaking this afternoon to NBC News.

  2. This created a patchwork of counties in Alabama that were offering licenses to everyone (few), offering licenses only to opposite-sex couples (more), or none at all (most).

    Alabama Counties Status of Marriage Licenses, February 10, 2015

    Alabama Counties Status of Marriage Licenses, February 10, 2015

  3. The Governor came out and said that he wasn’t going to do anything against probate judges who followed Moore’s directive or who followed the Federal court’s directive. But he did NOT want to be compared to Gov. George Wallace who, half a century ago, stood in the way of National Guard troops after the Federal courts ruled against desegregation. (This comparison was being made a lot yesterday.)

    Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican and a Southern Baptist, said he believes strongly that marriage is between one man and one woman, but that the issue should be “worked out through the proper legal channels” and not through defiance of the law. The governor noted that Alabama is about to be in the spotlight again with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was passed after civil rights marchers were attacked and beaten in Selma, Alabama — events chronicled in the Oscar-nominated movie “Selma.” “I don’t want Alabama to be seen as it was 50 years ago when a federal law was defied. I’m not going to do that,” Bentley said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

  4. Some judges refusing to comply with the the Federal order were mocked.
    Alabama Probate Judge Refusing to Follow the US Constitution

    Alabama Probate Judge Refusing to Follow the US Constitution

  5. Others were sued, but the Federal judge did nothing:

    Probate Judge Don Davis is not a party in this case and the Order of January 23, 2015, did not directly order Davis to do anything. Judge Davis’s obligation to follow the Constitution does not arise from this court’s Order. The Clarification Order noted that actions against Judge Davis or others who fail to follow the Constitution could be initiated by persons who are harmed by their failure to follow the law. However, no such action is before the Court at this time.

  6. So, the actual plaintiffs are now suing.

That’s kinda where we are today, or as of noon today. I could talk about a lot of issues here. Including Judge Moore making many of his arguments on Facebook, and then deleting them, like the one below.

One of Roy Moore's Rants on Facebook that Were Deleted

One of Roy Moore’s Rants on Facebook that Were Deleted

Or that this is a huge case of judicial activism, which I thought conservatives were against. Or questions about authority, and whether Moore actually has any authority over probate judges. Or the apt or inapt comparisons to George Wallace. Or that in the refusal of the Supreme Court of the United States to grant a stay of the Federal judge’s order could be interpreted (by Justice Thomas’ own remarks) as the tacit admission that that is how the Supreme Court will rule later this year.

Instead, I think I’ll just point out the real effect here: In all this posturing, to try to uphold their religion (and let’s be honest: There is no reason to be against this other than religion, and it’s what’s been the focus of all Moore’s (and others’) arguments), they are hurting real people. People who love each other and just want the recognition of the state that opposite-sex couples have always enjoyed. This isn’t just some vague issue. It’s a real one with real victims.


I’m at the point that when I see Aaron Klein’s name in the byline of a WND story, I assume it’s fake. It may not be a completely accurate heuristic, but it’s developed over the lifetime of this blog. Let’s start this time with the debunking itself, and then get into Klein’s claims: “Right-Wing Smear Baselessly Links Obama Admin to Anti-Netanyahu Campaign” by Hannah Groch-Begley on Media Matters.

Hannah comes out swinging, debunking the claim – or at least mollifying it – in the first paragraph, by pointing out “American political consultants from both parties have been independently working in Israeli campaigns for decades — including former Obama aides who have worked for Netanyahu.” I actually recommend reading Hannah’s article in full because it points out the path of the “Chinese Whispers” that have been blown out of any proportion or context due to a desire to undermine President Obama for any reason – real or not. (And to be fair, I don’t think everything President Obama does is good or fair or reasonable, I’d just rather dislike his actions if they’re real, rather than dislike his actions that are shown to be fake.)

Here’s the basic idea, or claimed evidence: “[… A] former Obama campaign staffer went to Israel “to oust Netanyahu,” suggesting the former staffer would not do this work “if he thought Obama opposed it” and implying the administration was “actively working to defeat Netanyahu.””

Here’s the reality: “Two policy groups in Israel, OneVoice and Victory 15, are currently working together to promote platforms that reportedly “are not friendly” to Netanyahu ahead of the upcoming election. The groups have also partnered with American consulting group 270 Strategies, which is headed by Jeremy Bird, a former Obama campaign staffer. OneVoice began working with 270 Strategies in 2013, long before the Israeli elections were announced.”

But, as she stated at the beginning: “There is a long history of U.S. political consultants from both parties working for Israeli political campaigns.” She then lists ones from US presidential campaigns that have worked both for and against various parties in Israel. But, apparently, this one is somehow different. The rumor that it’s different is possibly in response to House Speaker John Boehner inviting Netanyahu to address Congress — a major faux pas in Washington because foreign dignitaries are supposed to be handled by the State Department, part of the Executive Branch. This was seen as a major snub to Obama both by the House for offering it and Netanyahu for accepting. And so, “Conservatives claim that 270 Strategies’ work with OneVoice proves Obama is either retaliating against Netanyahu or engaging in a similar effort to meddle in foreign politics; but again, 270’s work on the ground in Israel began long before this most recent disagreement, and it is typical for American political consultants to engage in Israeli politics.”

This was then hyped by the Drudge Report, by Sen. Ted Cruz on Brietbart, and even Megan Kelly on Fox “news” who suggested “that the administration sent an Obama “field general” to help Israel “elect Netanyahu’s opponent.””

This took another twist because of money: “Many of the media outlets took the smear further, by also claiming that tax-payer dollars were funding the campaign. OneVoice briefly received a one-time grant for about $200,000 from the State Department, which ended in November 2014. As State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki noted in a briefing, the grant “ended before there was a declaration of an Israeli election.””

So, because some organization got a grant at one time, that means everything they do in the future is linked to that funding source? Uh huh …

That’s the extent of that. So, now we have WND:

*Reposted under the headline, “FOR TRAINING ONLY – Netanyahu fires back at U.S. election meddling” on February 6, but the link on February 6 returns a 404 Error (file not found).

Really, you can read down those headlines and check off each conspiracy that I explained above. But, with very sensationalistic headlines. For example, with the “Cruz Grills Kerry” one, it’s not a grilling. It’s a letter that Sen. Cruz sent to Sec. of State Kerry asking to make sure that no US taxpayer funds are being used. That’s it. Oh, except that in the WND story, there are many quotes from anonymous internet commenters who are opposed to what they are being mislead to think is going on.

The only one not in there is the one about Netanyahu “firing back” at an “Obama Army.” To quote from WND: “During a press conference Sunday, the Likud Party officially accused V15 and other related nonprofits of being supported “through millions of dollars funneled from Europe, the U.S. and the New Israel Fund and international factors interested in bringing down Prime Minister Netanyahu” who think “that all means are appropriate.” The Likud further called for Israel’s Central Elections Committee to outlaw V15′s activities to “ensure the integrity of the election.””

It may be a tu quoque fallacy on my part, but I would like to point out that there is plenty of foreign money in US politics, too. Something that is generally advocated for by conservative groups by trying to remove caps on spending and general accountability, and/or lessening funding for groups meant to watch for potential campaign spending violations.

In the end, what makes more sense? Scenario 1 is a vast, nefarious plot of one world leader plotting against the leader of an ally state. Which takes pace in a scenario where the former world leader’s every move is being watched by an incredibly hostile group of lawmakers. Or, Scenario 2 which is where a political campaign team that has a proven track record is either hired by or volunteers to help the campaign of someone else. Just happens to be that the new campaign is in a different country.

One of the reasons that I consider myself part of the modern scientific skepticism movement is because of crap like this. You need to question things. You need to look into sources and look for the story behind what you’re being told. You need to look at the evidence and get beyond the hype. Otherwise, you’re just a drone. And WND commenters are mainly drones. They just get riled up because they’re supposed to by stories like this. As “Envoy Master” wrote, “A sitting US president actively trying to cause a regime change in an ALLIED country is arguably treasonous as such an act is likely to benefit our enemies.” Yup, WND has done its job.


I was waiting for this one since I read it on the Raw Story site earlier today: “Oregon Officials Rip Fox Contributor Todd Starnes for ‘False’ Reporting on Anti-Gay Bakery.”

The story on WND is found in Michael Brown’s “It’s High Time to Push Back Against Gay Activism.” Oh, and it specifically contradicts the actual potential fine reported yesterday by WND in “Bakery to Pay Same-Sex Couple Up to $150,000.”

The real story is this:

A state agency in Oregon called out the Fox News contributor’s erroneous reporting on a discrimination complaint filed by a same-sex couple who were denied service by a bakery.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found Monday that Sweet Cakes by Melissa violated the state’s anti-discrimination law because it is not a registered religious institution.

The Portland bakery’s owners might be ordered to pay fines up to $75,000 to the women – but Starnes got some facts exactly wrong in his Fox News report, “Christian bakers face government wrath for refusing to make cake for gay wedding.”

Starnes incorrectly reported that bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein could face $200,000 in fines and damages – which an official with the BOLI flatly denied in a statement to Media Matters.

“Todd Starnes is writing that the bakery owners face fines of up to $200,000 in damages. That’s false,” said Charlie Burr, the agency’s communications director. “In fact, it’s the Kleins who have asked for $200,000 in damages from our agency for our enforcement of the Equality Act.”

An administrative judge rejected the couple’s request to dismiss the case and award them damages, court costs, and attorneys fees.

In other words, Starnes reported that the bakers were getting fined $200k, when in fact that was what THEY were trying to sue for. They may be fined up to $75k for each person they discriminated against, for their discrimination was ruled to be illegal because they violated the non-discrimination rules in their city/state.

Michael Brown, however, missed the memo:

On Tuesday, it was announced that “An Oregon administrative law judge ruled on Jan. 29 that the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa did, in fact, discriminate in 2013 when they declined to provide a wedding cake for a lesbian couple because it would have violated their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage.”

The bakers could potentially be fined $200,000 for holding to their Christian convictions. $200,000!

I don’t think anything more needs to be said about this.

But, comments, well … it’s a bit early to judge what may happen, but as I write this, there are 7 comments. The top-rated is by “MichaelVWilson” and he wrote this diatribe:

Push back. How nice. What a bland, unimaginative, inoffensive phrase.

As an ex-Marine I’m a little more direct in my approach. 50 men, 25 with rifles to act as guards; 25 with sledge hammers as the wrecking crew. Go to a homosexual bar or bathhouse, destroy it with the sledge hammers, find a second homosexual business, rinse and repeat until none are left.

Christians are in a war against evil. Let’s act like it!

Can someone please, please tell me how this is any different from what many über-conservative, right-wing Christians in American argue against in terms of Islamic jihad? This man is literally calling for Armed Christian Soldiers to destroy property owned by people they disagree with for religious reasons, or operated along an ideology they disagree with for religious reasons. The only difference I see in this particular comment is that he does not seem to be advocating violence to people, only their property. Though the rifles and sledgehammers make me wonder what would happen if someone tried to block them.

The only kind voice currently has zero up-votes, by “RichardMcCarthy”: “Yes, indeed! Jesus did say “Push back!” Or, maybe, He forgot to say that? I’m pretty sure He did say “Love one another” – including your enemies and fellow sinners as He loved us (not so that they know they’re going to Hell).”


In lieu of a post yesterday, you get a 149-word ranty post today based on WND’s snippet, “Senate to Vote on Whether Climate Change Happening.”

There are so many things wrong with this, but when I put on my science outreach hat, the biggest issue here is that it gives the impression that science is up for vote.

Is 2+2=5? It might be if the Senate votes it is!

That sort of thing seems ridiculous to most people, but this is the exact same thing that this headline implies: If the Senate votes climate change is happening, it is! If they don’t, it isn’t!

Yes, I fully realize that this is an opportunity for everyone to score perceived points for their base, for conservatives to show that they don’t believe it and liberals to show they do. But the idea that they are voting on a scientific idea is just … UGH!!!


Over the weekend, in response to the terrorist attack in France, Rupert Murdoch (owner of FOX “news” and various other companies) tweeted the following: “Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.”

Regardless of your political or religious leanings, you can probably see the the idiocy in that statement. If you can’t, the author best known for her Harry Potter series pointed it out to him in two tweets: “I was born Christian. If that makes Rupert Murdoch my responsibility, I’ll auto-excommunicate. http://t.co/Atw1wNk8UX” and “@dom209 The Spanish Inquisition was my fault, as is all Christian fundamentalist violence. Oh, and Jim Bakker.”

In other words, one cannot hold everyone who follows a particular belief system – religious or otherwise – responsible for everyone else who follows that belief system. Seems pretty obvious.

But then, there’s the World Net Daily audience. WND published a three-paragraph snippet from NBC News headlined, “J.K. Rowling Goes Bonkers on Rupert Murdoch.” Hyperbole much?

WND commenters reacted in the opposite manner as you might expect any normal person to do. There’s the top-rated comment by “bluevanda” which states, “When did the opinion of a writer of fictional books on witches have any importance in the governing of any nation? Murdoch was right.”

Or more succinctly, second-highest rated comment by “prometheus2” was, “Murdoch was spot on . . .”

Or the third-highest rated comment was by “TruBluAmerican,” who wrote, “What a dumb twit! So, why doesn’t she let Harry stop fighting the ‘evil’ and succumb to it?”

And, just for fun, since this is WND and there are lots of fundie Christians there who believe in literal witches and wizards, there’s the comment by “02word,” all spelling, grammar, and line breaks preserved:

“J.K…… the Bible says that there are NO good witches or wizards they are all evil in the sight of GOD.
You are an agent of satan and luring children into a false hope which is an abomination to GOD! Because of You , a 6 yr. old called Jesus weak & stupid..repent and turn before you can’t.”


I’m surprised that World Net Daily columnists produce posts that are pro-Intelligent Design (ID). ID is basically creationism (though none in the ID movement will admit to that, but they continuously claim religious freedom as the way to spread their ideas despite claiming it’s all science). The main superficial difference between ID and creationism is that ID proponents do a *wink*wink* when asked who the Designer is rather than saying it’s the Judeo-Christian god. I would’ve thought that’s too coy for WND folks.

But not so for Jerry Newcombe, who on September 2, 2014, published the column, “Charles Darwin and World War I.” The article has gotten a measly 52 comments, to the point that it was the non-crazies who got the most up-voted comments, basically laughing at the idea.

I’ve discussed this idea before, though in my other blog. Primarily, it was in the post, “If Darwin Is Responsible for the Holocaust, Newton Is Responsible for Bombs.”

You might be wondering how World War II and the Holocaust are related to World War I. If you are, you probably don’t follow the ID movement as much as I.

The issue is simply pigeon-holing Darwin: If any person in any way who had any sort of responsibility in any atrocity happened to ever espouse any idea remotely related to evolution or that other people have linked to evolution, then it’s Darwin’s fault.

I’m not exaggerating. That is one of the main tactics of the ID movement.

In this case, Jerry Newcombe is parroting Discovery Institute’s (the main “think”-tank of the ID movement) John West:

Dr. John West, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute of Seattle, says: “Historians continue to debate the causes of World War I, which were complex.” West has directed a new film, “The Biology of the 2nd Reich,” which highlights a link between Darwinism and the great war.

West states, “Social Darwinism was certainly one of the key issues that exerted a profound influence on German militarism before, during, and after the conflict.”

Newcombe goes on to talk about Hitler and Nazi Germany. Because of course those are related to WWII. He peripherally relates it to WWI:

The new film, on Darwin and World War I, quotes Charles Darwin: “The support which I receive from Germany is my chief ground for hoping that our views will ultimately prevail.” The film shows the link between Darwinism and German militarism, including genocide the Germans committed against a tribe in one of their African colonies.

The film quotes Hitler, who later set out to finish the work begun in WW I: “The law of selection exists in the world, and the stronger and healthier has received from nature the right to live. Woe to anyone who is weak, who does not stand his ground! He may not expect help from anyone.”

So, because Hitler used a concept from biology that had been applied by sociologists to term something in Victorian culture, Darwin caused WWI and WWII.

Who cares that Darwin died in 1882, three decades before World War I?